I’ve now made it a tradition to go to The Met each year on my birthday, in order to see the annual costume exhibit. Last year, I walked through the “Manus X Machina” exhibit, and this year, the “Art of the In-Between/Comme des Garcons” exhibit.
The Met Gala and related exhibit reveal the artistry and meaning behind fashion. Last year, the exhibit explored how technology is used in fashion, both in designing garments and in their use. It featured an unforgettable Chanel wedding dress with a 20-foot gold embroidered train. The dresses’ combination of 3D printed embroidery and hand-designed details displayed the mixture of influence that both humans and machines have on fashion and design.
This year, the gallery was designed in a new way, with striking, bright white structures and piercing light. The clothing stood out and almost appeared to have a life of its own. The theme of the exhibit is “Art of the In Between”, and it is organized into sections including “Absence/Presence”, “Design/Not Design”, “Fashion/Anti Fashion”, “Model/Multiple”, “Then/Now”, “High/Low”, “Self/Other”, “Object/Subject”, and “Clothes/Not Clothes”. None of the dresses fall into any specific category. A description of Comme des Garcons and designer Rei Kawakubo from the exhibit’s pamphlet is found below.
Since founding Comme des Garçons (“like some boys”) in 1969, the Tokyo-based designer Rei Kawakubo (born 1942) has consistently defined and redefined the aesthetics of our time. Season after season, collection after collection, she upends conventional notions of beauty and disrupts accepted characteristics of the fashionable body. Her fashions not only stand apart from the genealogy of clothing but also resist definition and confound interpretation. They can be read as Zen koans or riddles devised to baffle, bemuse, and bewilder. At the heart of her work are the koan mu (emptiness) and the related notion of ma (space), which coexist in the concept of the “in-between.” This reveals itself as an aesthetic sensibility that establishes an unsettling zone of visual ambiguity and elusiveness
These creepy wedding dresses in the “Birth/Marriage/Death” exhibit were some of my favorite pieces.
Though I had little knowledge of Kawakubo or CDG before this years Met Gala, I definitely appreciated the exhibit and have never seen anything like it before. Plus, I got to see that incredible dress worn by Rihanna to the Met Gala.
It is quite difficult to see the entirety of The Met in one day, so although I traveled through many other exhibits, I did not get to everything. I always love the paintings and sculptures, especially those created by Matisse, Klimt, Degas, and Van Gogh. The Met is currently featuring a new exhibit on the Chinese Empire, and I explored the artifacts and tools found there. I also absolutely loved the European Decorative Arts exhibit, specifically the historical hotel lobby recreations found there.
Other photos taken throughout the museum:
The “Art of the In Between” exhibit will run until September 4th of this year. If you are able to, I highly recommend visiting that and all The Met has to offer.